Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ROARIE, adj., n. Also -y, rorie, -y. [′ro:re]

I. adj. 1. Loud, noisy, roaring (I.Sc., Ags., Kcb. 1968). Combs. roarie-buckie, see Rair, v., 8.; roarie bummler, a white cloud formed high in the sky on a windy day, which appears to roar, a bank of storm cloud (Abd. 1968). Abd. 1928  N. Shepherd Quarry Wood xiv.:
“See to that roariebummlers”. Glittering bergs of cloud knocked against the south-east horizon.
Gsw. 1935  A. McArthur & H. K. Long No Mean City vii.:
It's a fine quiet close this. . . . Ours is more rory!
Gsw. 1947  H. W. Pryde 1st Bk. McFlannels i.:
“I don't see any flames coming out the chimney.” “It was making an awful roary noise when I left anyway”.

2. Drunk (Sh., Per., Gsw. 1968). Cf. roarin-fou s.v. Fou, adj., 3. Mry. 1865  W. H. L. Tester Poems 141:
Did he dee in a hurry? D'ye think was he rory?
Per. 1904  E.D.D.:
Was James a wee rory last nicht?

3. Of colours: bright, showy, eye-catching (Lth. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 153), gen. now in pejorative sense: glaring, garish, loud. Gen.(exc. ne.)Sc. Cf. Eng. dial. rory-tory, id. Edb. 1866  J. Smith Merry Bridal 9:
Wi' a' her falderals sae gay, An' rory ribbons fleein'.
Clc. 1882  J. Walker Poems 113:
Wi' their gudewives deck'd out in rory dresses.
Lnk. 1895  W. Fraser Whaups vii.:
“Ye maun get a braw red waistcoat wi' brass buttons on't”. “Wad that no be ower roary, dae ye no think?”.
Ork. 1904  W. T. Dennison Sketches 6:
De sea a' glisteran' rory wi' bleud i' the sunsheen.
Fif. 1935 10 :
I'm no seekin' ony o' your rorie colours — gie me a plain reid an' yalla.
wm.Sc. 1948  Scots Mag. (June) 213:
The elastic-sided boots, the dickey, the cuffs, the rory tartan tie.
Ags. 1953  Forfar Dispatch (31 Dec.):
Sarah Amelia and me bocht a remnant o claith — he likes roary colours.

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"Roarie adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Nov 2019 <>



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